Sky-high prices put Aussie re­sorts on a slip­pery slope

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Australian & Nz Ski Holidays - MERRY KIRK­WOOD

COMEwin­ter, there is one reg­u­lar fire­side topic among ski en­thu­si­asts: the high price of adult one-day lift passes in Aus­tralia.

This year, line hon­ours go to Per­isher at $109, but other NSW and Vic­to­rian re­sorts sit close be­hind. Thredbo’s lift pass is a pricey $107, Falls Creek and Hotham are charg­ing $106 and Mt Buller $104.

Vic­to­ria’s Mt Baw Baw has the cheap­est tick­ets at $65.

We are right to be con­cerned about the high cost of tak­ing to the slopes. Aus­tralian re­sorts hold three of the top four places in a 2010 study by the Aus­tralian Alpine Club of lift prices in seven coun­tries. Each year the club ar­rives at the same con­clu­sion: Aussies are pay­ing over the odds to ski at home.

The World Lift Ticket Price Re­port, which com­pares tar­iffs at 550 ski fields in 40 coun­tries, has sim­i­lar find­ings in re­la­tion to the cost of six-day lift passes (pop­u­lar for week-long hol­i­days).Vail in the US tops the most re­cent list but Aus­tralia of­ten takes this du­bi­ous hon­our in some cat­e­gories.

Why is the cost of ski­ing down un­der so high? A lack of competition — there are nine big re­sorts across Aus­tralia, com­pared with 22 in Colorado, for ex­am­ple — may be one rea­son, while our com­par­a­tively low skier num­bers is an­other.

Costly snow-mak­ing and slope de­vel­op­ment are also nec­es­sary, given our un­pre­dictable nat­u­ral falls.

Snow sports in­volve pricey ac­cou­trements, which can’t be ig­nored. And for an ac­tiv­ity that usu­ally lasts the whole day, ski­ing is seen by many as fair value for money; those who choose to ski lo­cally sim­ply seek the most cost­ef­fec­tive deals to min­imise the im­pact on the hip pocket.

With our cur­rency fly­ing high, it is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly ob­vi­ous that bet­ter deals can be found else­where. And while prospects are al­ready good for this sea­son, pro­hib­i­tive lo­cal prices may prove a moun­tain too high for many skiers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.